An original musical based on the beloved novel by Louisa May Alcott, which follows the adventures and epiphanies of four teenage sisters growing up in New England during and after the Civil War. The score, by Dolly Guinther and Beatrice Grant, is a compilation of authentic popular songs of the era. Alcott’s semi-autobiographical tale of the March girls has been among the best-selling literary works in the English-speaking world since its publication in 1868. The seemingly old-fashioned story has striking contemporary relevance, tracing the lives of a typical American family facing economic hardship and struggling to uphold their values of compassion and tolerance in a country riven by civic and racial conflict. The hopes, joys, loves and losses of its lovable central characters retain a universal appeal.
This unusual production employs a rich variety of nineteenth-century songs that bring the era to life. From spirituals to Civil War marches and ballads to popular parlor songs by such well-known tunesmiths as Stephen Collins Foster and even some familiar opera excerpts, the music will transport you to the world of 1860s New England in ear-catching, toe-tapping style.
Performances, on Saturday, April 21 (2:30 and 7:30 p.m.); Sunday, April 22 (2:30 p.m.); Friday, April 27 (7:30 p.m.), Saturday, April 28 (2:30 p.m.); and Sunday, April 29 (2:30 p.m.), take place at St. Luke’s Church, 85 Greenway South, in the beautiful Forest Hills Gardens neighborhood of Queens. At a suggested donation of $15, with a discount rate of $12 for groups of six or more, the Gingerbread Players remain one of the best theater bargains in town. For information and reservations, call 718-268-7772, or visit www.gingerbreadplayers.org. The company’s namesake gingerbread cookies and other home-baked goodies will be on sale during intermission.